Mac and not cheese??
there are a few things I especially miss from our pre nearly vegan (except eggs) days. Pizza (that I didn't make, with cheese, NY style), milkshakes, being able to grab coffee wherever (one of those over priced drinks- but not at Starbucks, we differ on too many views of life!), and macaroni and cheese. not so much craft but the real homemade kind. its been 5 years!!! or maybe 4, point is.... So I found this recipe on Facebook, The No Cheese Mac and cheese from www.ordinaryvegan.net and it looked ok, not awesome. I had no hope, but decided to attempt to create my own, kid friendly (except for my oldest, who did try it, but doesn't eat anything cooked anymore :( )version based off that recipe. It was fabulous for even my husband!! who is serious about his pre vegetarian/no dairy favorites. the baby (who will not eat pasta) even ate two bowls! Score on for mama! Hidden vegetables! However, the lovely lady who wrote the original attempted to make this healthy. While it's better than the dairy kind, I use butter in attempt to get my family to eat it.
Bare with me...
Bare with me...
No Cheese mac and Cheese (not even the fake kind!)
1 Box of pasta (I used gluten free, but really, who cares?! use whatever!)
1 head cauliflower
A few cloves of garlic (smash em with a knife, take the skin off, use whatever you like!)
Enough bread slices to make about 1.5-2 cups of crumbs (not we seriously enjoy our toppings and sauces, if it's too much, use less!)
Ground mustard (or regular I suppose)
Black pepper (or white, who's checking? whatever you have is fine!)
Butter (clearly we use vegan Earth Balance, as it's all we can find that we tolerate, but to each his own!)
2ish cups of milk ( we use original rice, but any kind would do, unless it's flavored. the thought of vanilla in this recipe makes me feel a little ill)
flour 2-3Tablespoons (I did use regular organic, NOT gluten free, but I would try gluten free next time)
cook the pasta now or later. If you do it now, you can use the same pot for the sauce!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I realize that most recipes say 350, 375, However, I never have that kind of time with three little people being crazy! Crazy thing happen when I turn my back!
Cut the cauliflower, the smaller the better, and put it on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 35 minutes, 40 if you've got em!
While that's cooking, put the bread, 1 t of parsley, 1/2 t of salt, and garlic cloves in a food processor (or something similar) and pulse until bread crumbs. Dump out of the processor, no need to even clean it!
I waited (per previous disasters happen ) for the cauliflower to finish cooking (getting lightly browned and soft) before I completed the rest. Once the cauliflower was cooked I put it into the food processor. The woman who wrote the previous recipe had you process until chopped up but not really blended. I processed until nearly like peanut butter figuring that would blend better into a sauce (it did). I did not think of this until this moment, but a handful of spinach might be great too blend in with it!
melt 2 large T of butter in the sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of flour. whisking until thick and bubbly. when it's think add in the milk and ground or regular mustard. nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika (any spices your family likes). If you like it spicy add cayenne or crushed red. cook until thick. I ended up adding more flour here because I was afraid the sauce wouldn't thicken. Though, I feared that putting it back in the oven would create lack of sauce, didn't happen. Don't forget to taste! and taste, and taste. Once the sauce tastes good to you mix the pasta in and the blended cauliflower (I seriously forgot this the first time! ), and any other add in should you choose.
Now you have a choice! you can
1. mix the bread crumbs in now (very yummy! by accident bc as mentioned, forgot the cauliflower until I put it in the oven, so had no choice) and dump into a casserole or baking dish.
2. dump everything in a casserole or baking dish and put the bread crumbs on top with extra dots of butter.
bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or lightly browned on top.
cry happy tears as you eat because you finally found something reasonably close to macaroni and cheese!!
more recipes coming soon!